After leading his team to an unbeaten run through the Southwestern 4A regular-season and conference tournament, Bulldogs boys basketball coach Kurt Wessler told the Observer he was resigning Saturday.
Wessler, who won a state title in 2003 at Vance, just finished his 14th season as a head coach. In his 20-year career, his teams have been to five sectional finals and made three Western regional appearances. He said he will continue to teach history at Butler.
“What a thrilling way to go out,” said Wessler, whose team lost in overtime to Winston-Salem Mount Tabor in Friday’s sectional championship. “I wanted another state championship.”
He said he almost made this decision last spring.
“I have preached a philosophy that focuses on faith, family, academics and basketball,” Wessler said. “It is the cornerstone of all that I do and the basis for the decisions that I make.
October of 2009, my Dad died. He had a rough few last years. However, when I was a child he traveled as a salesman. Never missed a game though, not basketball or baseball. Coached me in AAU, coached me in Little League. What did I learn? Put your family first. He never said it. He just did it. It left quite an impression.”
Wessler and his wife Colleen have two young children who play softball and baseball and take piano lessons. He said he wants to coach them and spend more time with them.
“I will be there for them in whatever endeavors they undertake,” he said. “I am unbelievably blessed and have had an incredible career that I never envisioned. My good friend and former (South Mecklenburg) coach Carey Clark asked me in 2003 why I didn't retire after winning the states that year. My daughter was almost two and my son was on the way. I had no idea what being an attentive father was to mean. I wasn't ready then. Now is the time. My administration and my parents want me to stay. This is on my terms...how often do we really get to say that in life?”